Taita Taveta artisanal traders have something to smile about after the opening of the Sh 50 million Mwatate Modern Market to bolster trade and support small-scale enterprises in the region.
Governor Granton Samboja officially opened the market in a colourful event attended by hundreds of traders and other local residents.
The market project is a joint venture by the County government of Taita-Taveta in collaboration with the World Bank. The market contains 99 stalls and 144 open air spaces that are going to help the traders to sell their goods in a conducive environment.
Speaking in Mwatate during the official opening event, Samboja said his administration would continue to engage in projects that will improve the lives of the residents.
“Our agenda was to open the market and help traders carry out their economic activities in a conducive environment,” he said.
The governor further pointed out that his administration had built an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) that would be opened in a week’s time to enhance delivery of health services in the region.
He noted that to address the shortage of beds in hospitals, he has built a hospital with 150 beds to help accommodate patients in the hospitals. An eye and cancer centre have also been opened at Moi County Referral Hospital to bolster health services.
Granton was accompanied by several Members of County Assembly (MCAs), senior officials from his government, clergy men and prominent musicians from Tanzania including Upendo Nkone and William Yilima.
Mama Anita Ndae, a trader in the market, said she is hopeful her fortunes will be transformed by the new market. She added that the traders had been suffering from dust and scorching sunlight because the market place was exposed.
“We now have sheds, proper stalls and water. There is also security and we will keep this market clean,” she said.
Governor Samboja further asked the residents to support him in completing his projects. He added that he intended to launch life-changing projects including provision of water to rural homesteads and extending health services to the grassroots.
By Maureen Nyakerario